Co-Founder & Drummer, Metallica
Why you should listen
Lars Ulrich’s vision for Metallica, which he has shared along with co-founder James Hetfield since the band’s inception in 1981, has been integral to Metallica attaining its status as one of the most enduring and fiercely independent bands in music history.
From their Fifth Member fan club (over one million strong and growing), to their Blackened Recordings record label, recent whiskey and beer ventures, numerous branding collaborations, and philanthropic work via their All Within My Hands Foundation, Metallica continually strives to set new standards in serving their legion of fans and the global community at large.
Hear Lars at WOLDWEBFORUM 2020 as he shares his insights and experiences with Metallica from their early days in the garage right through to their current sold out WorldWired Tour.
Formed in 1981 by Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield, Metallica remains one of the most significant rock bands of the last four decades.
Metallica has sold approximately 120 million albums worldwide and generated more than 2.5 billion streams, while playing to millions of fans on all seven continents. Metallica’s catalogue includes the albums Kill ‘em All, Ride The Lightning, Master of Puppets, …And Justice for All, Metallica (commonly referred to as The Black Album), Load, Reload, St. Anger, Death Magnetic, and most recently Hardwired…to Self-Destruct, released in November 2016 on the band’s own Blackened Recordings label, and charting at #1 in 32 countries.
Metallica has won nine Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, multiple MTV Video Music Awards, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2009, and, in June of 2018, was awarded Sweden’s Polar Music Prize.
Metallica is currently in the midst of its WorldWired Tour, which has played more than 150 shows since beginning in 2016.
All Within My Hands Foundation
In February of 2017, Metallica announced the formation of All Within My Hands. The Foundation aims to assist and enrich the lives of members of the communities who have supported the band for years, as well as encourage participation from its fans and friends.
Metallica and All Within My Hands’ Board of Directors cover 100% of the Foundation’s expenses, meaning that every penny of every donation goes directly to its charity partners.
All Within My Hands’ partners and initiatives include:
Feeding America and local food banks in the cities Metallica plays. Together with the Metallica Family, the band and the Foundation are able to make a difference for those suffering from hunger within the communities visited by the tour, donating a portion of every ticket sold at each stop along the WorldWired Tour. .
Metallica Scholars, a major workforce education initiative that provides direct support to community colleges to enhance their career and technical education programs. Partnering with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), a Washington D.C.-based organization that represents America’s more than 1000 community colleges, Metallica Scholars is designed to provide support for community college students in regions that have supported Metallica on tour.
Blackened American Whiskey
Having begun as a collaborative effort between Metallica and original Master Distiller Dave Pickerell (RIP), Blackened American Whiskey is a testament to the creative process, to the hard work and determination required to make something from nothing.
Fueled by decades of creative passion, Blackened is a distillation of the bond between Metallica and its fans.
Each batch of Blackened utilizes a patented BLACK NOISE technology, in which a unique playlist of Metallica music—curated by Lars, James, and bandmates Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo–is used to sonically enhance the whiskey during finishing. As the well-aged whiskey rests in the finishing barrels, the music is played to the barrel causing the whiskey inside to move and interact with the wood. The movement of the whiskey and the amount of interaction depends on the song being played, so the variation of the music creates a slight nuance from one batch to the next.
Enter Night Pilsner
In January 2019, Metallica and Arrogant Consortia (a Stone Brewing imprint) introduced Enter Night Pilsner: a unique expression of the shared values that have helped define Metallica and Stone Brewing.
Enter Night Pilsner is the outcome of a genuine creative spark between the members of Metallica and the leadership of Stone , who participated at every step alongside their talented brewing team.
Lars and Stone co-founder Greg Koch enjoyed multiple occasions at Lars’ home ‘discussing’ (industry-speak for ‘drinking’) beers.
“The amount of ideals and outlooks that Metallica and Stone Brewing share are endless,” says Lars. “I’m always blown away about how similar our paths forward have been. Our view of the worlds that we each inhabit, of creativity and process, and sense of place in relation to our peers and ‘The Man’ are almost identical. This collaboration is beyond effortless and pure, and we can’t wait to share this incredible beverage with everyone out there.”
Lars Ulrich was born on December 26, 1963 in Gentofte, Denmark. His father, Torben Ulrich, was a professional tennis player, and instilled in Lars a love of the game. As a child, Ulrich anticipated following in his father’s footsteps to become a professional tennis player.
Then, at age 10, he saw the band Deep Purple—his first concert—and a few years later, his grandmother bought him his first drumset. His plans for the future began to change.
Ulrich’s family moved to Los Angeles when he was 16. As his passion for tennis waned, his passion for drumming increased. He placed an ad in a local newspaper, looking for “metal musicians to jam with.” James Hetfield one of the respondents. Five months later, they formed Metallica, one of the most commercially successful bands of all time.
Hetfield became the lead vocalist, guitarist and songwriter for the band, while Ulrich was drummer, producer and the business mind driving the band’s success.
After more than 30 years, Metallica is still going strong selling out shows around the world. Their latest album “Hardwired…To Self-Destruct” went platinum in the US.
Ulrich is not only one of the world’s most respected drummers, but he’s also in charge of the business side of the band—and he’s not afraid to stand up for his band’s rights and interests as evinced by the Napster case in 2001.